Film Forward – Documentaries | Tribeca CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap – Nora Lee Mandel – April 16, 2015

Posted on Apr 16, 2015


Barbie complaining about math, ex-Harvard president Lawrence Summers declaiming against women’s science abilities, and crudely sexist apps are familiar targets of criticism. But director Robin Hauser Reynolds goes beyond these well-known examples to explore how white male nerd stereotypes continue to negatively impact the lack of racial and gender diversity in the tech industry—let alone limiting the marketing potential to diverse consumers. Amidst the graphs of academic studies, most telling on screen are the pointed personal stories of girls and (young and older) women challenging attitudes in schools and the work place to triumph as software developers for start-ups and growing companies, such as Airbnb, Etsy, Pinterest, and Yelp. (Like the experiences recounted here, my niece, too, has been intimidated in high school and college comp sci classes by boys who have been coding since childhood—and she’s persisting into a career in cyber-security.)